When I was a teenager, my first summer job was as a camp counselor. Yep, it was the traditional tents in the woods, meals in a lodge, and campfires every evening. Around those campfires we sang songs and played games, one of which was Round Robin. If you’ve never participated in a round robin, the … Continue reading Round Robins: Flexing Those Creative Muscles
M.C. Beaton (a.k.a. Marion Chesney Gibbons) Early this year, I was saddened to learn of the death of one of my favorite authors, M.C. Beaton. I’m not alone. Beaton (real name Marion Chesney Gibbons) was a prolific writer whose mystery novels rank among the most popular of the genre, both in book sales and library … Continue reading Is M.C. Beaton a Cozy Mystery Writer?
There is a difference between solitude and isolation. One is connected and one isn’t. Solitude replenishes, isolation diminishes. – Henry Cloud I think, if you have enough inner resources, then you can live in isolation for long periods of time and not feel diminished by it. – Aung San Suu Kyi When you’re obligated to … Continue reading Getting Along in a Time of Social Distancing
Last month I revisited Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs. The Tea Shop Mystery series takes place in the city where my children were born: Charleston, SC. As I turned the pages, I recognized the picturesque gardens, the stately homes South of Broad, and the quaint shops dotting downtown. The images in my mind were … Continue reading Location, Location, Location: A New Character in Town
The publisher’s summary of Cliff Hanger (A Maggie McDonald Mystery, #5) by Mary Feliz: Maggie has her work cut out for her helping Renée Alvarez organize her property management office. Though the condominium complex boasts a prime location on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, aging buildings and the high-maintenance tenants have … Continue reading Review: Cliff Hanger by Mary Feliz
Before we settle into Friday Classics featuring the Golden Age of Mystery fiction, it might be a good idea to define the boundaries. The questions of when, where, and what kind of mystery might pop into a reader’s mind. Are they cozies? Are they hard-boiled or over easy? Amateur or detective? British country house or … Continue reading Friday Classics: The Golden Age of Mystery
If you’ve read anything about writing a blog, the number one piece of advice is be consistent. Set a schedule and, above all, stick to it. Don’t let your readers down by dropping out. What did I do for the last couple of months? I dropped out. I owe everyone a big, slurpy apology for … Continue reading Mea Culpa and Thank You!
The other day I chatted with another lover of books and, after we caught up on our latest reads, she asked a couple of questions that got me thinking about why I choose the books I do: Are the characters we meet in a book reflections of ourselves? Or do we select books to vicariously … Continue reading Diverse Reading Creates Empathy
On a Facebook page for cozy mysteries, a reader commented that she unsubscribed from other cozy lists because she was tired of fluffy dogs or knitting grandmas solving murder while the victim is forgotten in the quest to find the killer. “Oh, look! Another dead body.” Yawn. “Guess we should find out whodunnit.” I was … Continue reading What Did You Expect from a Cozy Mystery?
As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk with the windows flung open, reveling in the gorgeous morning outside my door. The mild weather and the hordes of returning college students down the road are reminders that summer is coming to an end. I can’t say I’m sad about the passing of summer (I’m … Continue reading Lessons from Summer